Originally, I was invited to the media event for Fondway Cafe which I was all ready to attend before I double-checked my schedule. Drats, I already had dinner scheduled for that night. Could I do both, "a la Mijune"? Who am I kidding? Of course not... So the only other option was to attend their VIP night a few days later. Tucked behind the Metrotown Skytrain station on Beresford, Miss Y and I were surprised to find a cute little Asian-run cafe adorned with appealing decor and a wonderful high ceiling.
As part of the tasting menu, we were given a choice of beverage. I went for the Caramel Macchiato which was served in a double-walled plastic cup. This ensured that I could hold onto it despite being served scalding hot. It also kept it warm longer. As for the drink itself, it was lightly creamy with hints of caramel without being super sweet. The espresso part of it was pretty mild. Miss Y had the Grass Jelly Milk which was served in an interestingly tall cup. The soft jelly was easily sucked up by the large bubble tea straw where it was slightly sweet and minimally bitter. Also lightly creamy, the milk was easy on the sugar.
In terms of food, we were started off with a selection that included Chicken Corn Chowder, Vegetable Soup, Cheese Salmon and Tuna Waffle. Even before I was informed that everything was made in-house, we could easily tell things were fresh. I really enjoyed the vegetable soup as it had a home-made quality where nothing was too acidic nor salty. At the same time, it was full of depth highlighted by natural sweetness. The corn chowder was equally good with a medium viscosity while not being over-seasoned. The bits of chicken were remarkably tender despite being in a soup. Not much to comment on the smoked salmon other than that the cracker was too crumbly for the application. I liked the acidity of the tuna mixture, but the waffle was a bit cold and stiff.
Generally, a Green Salad is as exciting as a border lineup (go get Nexus!), but this one was actually a bit different. Sure, the greens were well, greens, but the Italian-type dressing was spiked with fruit and fresh cucumbers which added a certain brightness and natural sweetness. Furthermore, it added another layer of crunch and texture to the salad. This was accompanied by 2 sandwiches including the Smoked Pork and Turkey Croissant. These were generous in size and packed with ingredients. Unlike ham, the smoked pork was not overly salty while sporting a softer pulled pork-like texture. I liked the addition of sliced hard-boiled egg as it added some more body to the sandwich. Served on a house-made croissant, the real turkey breast was decently moist.
Onto some sweets, we were served 3 tarts including one that was a mix of Nuts, Seeds and Cranberries. This one had a firm texture while lightly sweet and of course nutty. We loved the various textures of crunchy and chewy. Up next was a Berry Frangipane Tart topped with slivered almonds. This was fairly dense as it appeared and lightly sweet with the essence of almonds throughout. Lastly, with a buttery sugar crumb topping, the Apple Tart featured a firm buttery crust that held in what appeared to be more frangipane topped with sweet apples and cranberries.
Moving onto some cakes, we were presented with 5 consisting of Green Tea Red Bean, Earl Grey, Strawberry Cream, Concentrated Chocolate and NY Cheesecake. Being an Asian cafe, the cakes were predictably light. I thought they executed it nicely where it was fluffy and light while not dried out. They were conservative with the sugar where we could taste the intended flavours. The earl grey was my personal favourite as the natural tea taste really came through at the end without being too strong. Another highlight was the cheesecake as the texture was spot on being creamy, a touch dense while being very cheesy and mildly sweet. The bruleed top added the necessary sugar content and a crunch as well. So, they say sometimes good things come in small packages. Sure it is an overused cliche, but this just might be the case of Fondway Cafe.
*All food and beverages were complimentary*
- House-made everything
- Not heavy on the sugar
- Hidden location with limited parking
- Some may not understand the light Taiwanese treats